Bronze FoundriesWith four full-service world-class bronze foundries in Wallowa County - as well as numerous specialty arts business that contracts with artists and foundries for part of the process - there's no better way to find out how the artists' wax models turn into beautiful sculptures than to take a tour of at least one of the foundries.
Valley Bronze of Oregon - Stop in at the Valley Bronze Showroom, 018 S. Main St., Joseph, at 10 a.m. daily during the summer months (starting Memorial Day weekend), for a video and a tour of the foundry on Alder Street in Joseph; gallery and tour are open Saturdays only the rest of the year; for information: 541 432-7445
Joseph Bronze - Located in an old U.S. Forest Service complex building about two miles north of Joseph off Highway 82. For information or appointment: 432-2278.
Parks Bronze - Tours of foundry are available at 10:45 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays at 313 Golf Course Road, Enterprise; afternoon and weekend tours by appointment; 541 426-4695.
T.W. Bronze - Smallest and newest foundry in Wallowa County, located at 202 Golf Course Road, Enterprise (across from Safeway Store), tours by appointment;
Art Studio ToursAn online directory of Wallowa County artists invites art-lovers - or folks who just want to do something a bit unusual - to arrange their own custom tour of local art studios, from raku potter to glass blowing, from bronze sculpture to painting.
Though the website address is (www.josephoregonartists.com), the studios are located all over Wallowa County, many of them in artists' homes, garages or residential work shops; call individual artists for appointments.
Natural/Cultural resourcesZumwalt Prairie Preserve - Guided tour for the public of 51 square-mile prairie property off Zumwalt Road (about 21 miles from Enterprise) by The Nature Conservancy, starting about noon, June 12. There may be carpooling from Enterprise headquarters at 107 SW 1st St. Staff ecologist and staff botanist will be among tour leaders.
Also self-guide driving tour and hikes available on part of property. For maps and more information: (www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/oregon); 541 426-3458.
Into The Wallowa - A summer's worth of free half-day outings will be lead by expert guides for the second years as a project of the local nonprofit Wallowa Land Trust.
The schedule was not finalized at press time, but the tours will be held every Saturday morning, probably from Independence Day to Labor Day weekends, excluding Chief Joseph Days weekend.
Outing locations will take participants all over the county and include the east, west and terminal moraines of Wallowa Lake, and - new this year - there will be a few trips to historic farms and ranches in the county. Topics will range from geology to botany to the rich Indian and settlers history of the area. Some outings include somewhat strenuous hiking while others are more like walking tours.
A schedule and more information: (www.wallowalandtrust.org), 541 426-2042, or 116 S. River (across from the courthouse).